eso9102 — Organisation Release
A Flying Start for a Super Telescope: Schott Successfully Casts an 8-m Mirror Blank
6 February 1991: A test run for the manufacture of mirror blanks in the 8-metre class, for use in the world's largest optical telescope, the ESO 16-m equivalent Very Large Telescope (VLT), has been successfully performed at Schott in Mainz, Germany . The test blank had a diameter of 8.6 metres and a surface area of more than 55 metres squared. This is the first time that has been possible to cast such a large glass-ceramic blank in one piece. To accomplish this impressive feat, Schott has developed a number of new technological procedures.